"Ye, a large squad of Black Cove mechs are heading this way." With the timely warning, Ye Chong quickly flew Han Jia into the darkness for cover. The Black Cove mechs swished past him, and Ye Chong spotted Instructor Hak amongst them.
35 mechs in total! Ye Chong was shocked by their numbers! Cosmic Flares were designed to be menacingly eye-catching, and a full squad of them made for a terrifying sight. This large squad of mechs charged through the road, unimpeded by other mechs at the sides. Ye Chong trailed behind them silently, eager to find out what they were up to.
The sky was full of mechs, and Han Jia was effectively hidden despite its odd appearance. However, there were more than a few mechs that wanted to jump on him along the way, and Ye Chong had to deal with them swiftly in order to catch up with Black Cove.
Ye Chong finished off at least 7 or 8 mechs along the way. The skies were littered with bouts, as more people began to unleash their vicious nature, no longer restrained by the laws of old. Fragments of mechs could be seen scattered about the grounds. In the end, Ye Chong decided to fly close to the ground. There were indeed fewer mechs at this height, and Ye Chong followed the Black Cove mechs at a distance.
In this chaotic mess, holographic scans were mostly useless. Hak found the situation outside more severe than he expected, and most of the Black Cove mech pilots could only stare in stupefaction!
The people here were mad! Everyone felt like they were sitting on an unstable energy cell that could explode at any moment. The dense flock of mechs in the skies was the result of overwhelming panic, and every member of Black Cove could only move forward carefully. If they got themselves involved in the mess, they would only become a small part of the larger scene of chaos.
Hak was also getting anxious.
Ye Chong moved like a fish, slipping easily between the mechs and buildings, dealing with any hostile mechs that came his way as he followed the Black Cove squad at a distance.
Fortunately, Mu’s scanning system was not significantly affected, a testimony to Mu’s strength. Mu was strong in all aspects. Back when Ye Chong began to study Mu’s engine, he could not understand a thing about it, as the engine was more advanced than seemingly possible. Who could possibly have designed Mu? This was one of very few questions that Ye Chong continued to take interest in.
However, the thought was quickly dismissed as he regained his focus, following the Black Cove squad from behind. Even if the probability of being detected was very small, it was still sensible to be cautious.
"Ye, 30 degrees from the radius vector, there are MPA’s mechs, 22 of them." Mu’s cold and flat announcement came through in his clear electronic voice.
Ye Chong suddenly had an idea, and Han Jia immediately ramped up its speed. Night was the perfect cover for Han Jia, and since Ye Chong stuck close to the ground, it was impossible to spot him. As for the other average mechs that were targeting him, Ye Chong ignored them and escaped by sheer speed.
Ye Chong’s mind was racing - he had no time to consult Mu. He was evaluating the feasibility of his idea. On the trash planet, Ye Chong had developed a keen hunting intuition. However, his time spent relying on Mu and Shang had made him out of practice. In this moment, Ye Chong felt like he had returned to the trash planet, and his intuition came back to life.
Han Jia moved quickly, and swept like a gust below the Black Cove mechs, heading straight towards the MPA mechs.
Ye Chong felt particularly excited, and his hands moved faster. Han Jia’s astonishing speed made it effectively like a ghost moving through the night, and the chaotic situation made it almost unnoticeable; what few people who saw it would only thought it was a trick of the eye.
Han Jia slammed to a halt firmly on the ground.
Ye Chong’s face betrayed no expression. From his extensive experience in hunting, he knew that now was the time to keep his calm in order to gather his prize.
Ye Chong had took a huge detour, beginning from behind the Black Cove mechs and ending up behind the MPA mechs.
The MPA and Black Cove were outright enemies. Ye Chong’s mind was spinning furiously, and he finally decided to execute his plan, as there was not enough time to evaluate it any further. The window of opportunity was very small. Looking at these two mech squads, they would probably pass by each other without noticing.
Beneath Han Jia’s feet were all sorts of mech fragments, left behind by the ones who lost in whatever bouts they were involved in.
Han Jia quickly picked up a heat ray gun, still attached to a severed mech arm.
Ye Chong’s plan was simple - he wanted the mechs from Black Cove and the MPA to notice each other.
Han Jia was behind and beneath the MPA mechs, and could see the Black Cove mechs at a distance from where he stood. Even though it was nighttime, and Black Cove’s mechs were all in black, the thirty over Cosmic Flares were still very conspicuous. These were powerful mechs lined up in tight formation, and the result was staggering. Other mechs quickly made way for this obviously hostile squad of mechs. The clear perimeter around the Black Cove mechs made them even more obvious.
However, there was still a hoard of mechs engaged in battle, right between the Black Cove and MPA squads.
Looking at the heat ray gun in his hand and the messy hoard of mech in front, Ye Chong could not help but sigh. Why was his shooting skills so horrible? Besides, he would have to shoot while moving with the MPA mechs, and his targets were also constantly in motion.
Ye Chong had no confidence in his shooting skills. In his hands, the gun was as effective as a metal stick.
Ye Chong was vexed, when suddenly, a wide opening appeared in the mech hoard between the Black Cove and the MPA.
Ye Chong was overjoyed, and aimed the heat ray gun through Han Jia.
"Target locked." Mu’s calm voice gave him courage, and Ye Chong pulled the trigger without hesitation.
The faint light beams appeared weak against the dark background of the night. The sky was filled with beams aiming at various direction, and it was only natural for the heat ray beams to blend in with the others.
Immediately after it fired, Han Jia slipped into the hoard of mechs for cover.
Ye Chong’s shooting skills were deplorable, and even with Mu’s help, most of the heat rays missed their targets. Fortunately, however, some of them still hit the Black Cove mechs.
The Cosmic Flares that were hit paused and looked towards the source of the attack. Almost immediately after that, the Black Cove squad shifted their formation in anticipation - they had spotted the MPA’s mech squad.
Ever since holographic scanning systems were invented, people had come to rely heavily on them. The system allowed for further and clearer lines of sight, with a larger scanning perimeter. The combination of photon processors and holographic scanning had also reduced the stress on the mech pilot in monitoring the scans.
However, as holographic scanning systems improved generation after generation, they still had their flaws. In a chaotic situation like this one, holographic scanning accuracy dropped significantly.
Both the MPA and Black Cove mech pilots relied heavily on holographic scans. As for Ye Chong, his time spent in the complicated territory on the trash planet had taught him better to use his eyes instead.
The MPA’s mech squad was even more obvious. They were all white, arranged in battle formation. Any mech that entered their security perimeter would be greeted with a dazzling beam of light and a violent explosion.
After eliminating a few mechs this way, no more mechs dared to get close to them.
It was eerie to see both mech squads having a clear perimeter around them.
The Black Cove mech squad switched directions upon noticing the MPA mechs.
As the Black Cove mech squad reorganized themselves, the hoard of mechs between them and the MPA began to feel the building pressure of the threat. They quickly cleared the grounds to avoid getting involved.
In the span of a few seconds, the hoard of mechs between the two mech squads had cleared out. Against the backdrop of chaos in the skies, here was a clear flying pathway.
If the MPA still did not notice their enemy by now, they should really just shoot themselves.
Almost instantly, the MPA’s mech squad shifted their formation in anticipation too.
The growing tension between the two mech squads was so thick that even breathing became difficult.
Mech squabbles were not rare, but a battle between proper mech formations was. It was also obvious that the two sides were not made up of average mechs; any mech amateur could tell that.
Many of the mechs battling nearby had stopped by now, watching the two mech squads.
Black and White locked gaze at a distance.
Ye Chong hid himself amongst the other mechs and watched.
Compared to the newly formed grudge between the Sanctuary and Black Cove, the MPA and Black Cove were old enemies, and a meeting between the two would often end up as a fight to the death. Ye Chong had experienced this hostility first hand on Blue Ocean in his F-58. If he had not acted quickly then, he would have died many times over.
Abruptly, both sides attacked almost simultaneously! No words were exchanged.
The MPA mechs fired with all they had, moving backwards at the same time. They needed to widen the distance to gain the upper hand with their long range expertise. Even while moving backwards, their formation remained in shape.
The Black Cove mechs, however, quickly formed smaller squads and charged ahead like black vipers.
Distance was key in a battle between Black Cove and the MPA. As someone who was familiar with the battle strategies of both sides, Ye Chong understood this well enough.
With the short distance between them, and the advantage in numbers of the Black Cove mechs led by an instructor, the MPA would lose. That was Ye Chong’s deduction.
"The MPA will probably lose this time." Ye Chong said to Mu.
"Yes, based on my information, the probability is above 80 percent." Mu analyzed calmly.
"Looks like our plan is a success." Ye Chong was feeling good.
"Based on the current situation, if everything goes a planned, it will be successful." Mu was still replying in his cold manner.
The MPA seemed to realize that escape was impossible, and acted as much.
Ye Chong had seen the mechs of the Sanctuary and Black Cove battle in formation, but that was in space, and Ye Chong was not particularly awed by it. Here, however, the battle was within the atmosphere, right above the city, and Ye Chong could finally realize the horror of it all.
Both sides were nemesis, and knew each other well. From the beginning, they were no fancy moves. All strived to draw blood.
The spectating mech pilots all stared in shock! Compared to the battle they were seeing, their own bouts seemed like child’s play.
The astonishing speed at which the battle progressed was also startling.
However, they did not expect the spillover effects of the battle to affect them.
As the battleground expanded, the two sides began to invade the space of the spectating mechs.
One particular mech was blocking the way of a Cosmic Flare in pursuit of a Messenger, and was instantly dismembered into a thousand pieces. The Cosmic Flare was undeterred and continued its pursuit.
The most terrifying was the Messenger’s light beams. Normal laser beams were enough to penetrate two mechs, but the Javelin Angel’s nanowaves were even more powerful - one shot was enough to sear out a clear spot.
"Heavens, are they still human?" All the mech pilots were horrified! Whatever courage they had was now diminished to nothingness.
When ruthlessness was met against more extreme ruthlessness, the result was horror and despair.
Almost all the surrounding mechs had stopped fighting and escaped as fast as they could. They could only blame their engines for not flying fast enough to clear the area. A few mechs were still deeply engrossed in their fight. Bang! A huge explosion wiped them out.
With this live example, the surrounding people picked up their pace in escaping.
While he was eager to find out the outcome of the battle, he would stick out like a sore thumb by staying behind. Ye Chong reluctantly left with the retreating swarm of mechs.
All in all, the plan was successful. As for the results, time would tell. Ye Chong returned to the hospital building in good spirits, while Mu worked on controlling events in the virtual world.
Nonetheless, ever since the great battle between Black Cove and the MPA, public order had surprisingly improved. At least, there were no longer any mech squabbles in the skies.
Ye Chong never suspected the long terms consequences the plan he, Mu and Shang had put in motion for the state of the world. Perhaps, even if he knew, Ye Chong, Mu and Shang would probably feel indifferent about it.